Interview Questions & Tips

The Position:

  • Is this an open position or will you be creating one?
    (Is there anyone else in the company who would like this position?)

  • What would my responsibilities, duties, and title be?
    (Top 25%? Ideal person?)
    (What is the most crucial/important aspect of this job? Least important?) (Is travel required? Do you often meet face-to-face with clients?)
  • Describe a typical day on the job.
  • What are the most difficult aspects of the position?
  • What are examples of the best results produced by people in this job?
  • Are there projects that I will be involved in now? In the future?
  • Are there opportunities for upward mobility and growth?
    (What is the typical career path look like?)
  • How much autonomy will I have?


The Manager:

  • How did you get started with the company?
    (Where do you see yourself in 3 to 5 years?)
  • Would I be reporting to you or someone else? What is their function?

  • Describe the 4 leadership styles & then ask which one they are or combo of.
    (Could you describe in your own words how you manage your people?)

  • Who else would I be working with?

  • What is the philosophy on training and development here?
    (What special training can I expect to receive or would be required?)

  • How will I receive feedback on my job performance?

  • How many people have held this job in the last five years?
    (How many left on their own & how many were let go?)
  • When a decision is made to let someone go, how does it come about?

  • Has there been downsizing within the company? How is it handled


The Company:

  • What is the average tenure in the company?
  • How would you describe the environment I'll be working in?
  • Where does the company see itself five years from now?
  • Could you give me a description of your company's performance appraisal for those in my department?
  • Are sales up or down over last year? Last 2 years?
  • What are some of the company's foremost aims and goals?
  • What is the company ownership (public/private)?
  • Are there any particular company policies or procedures that I should be aware of?


Reasons Why The Employer Will Not Offer You The Job

1. Poor attitude. Many candidates come across as arrogant. While employers can afford to be self-centered, candidates cannot.

2. Appearance. Many candidates do not consider their appearance as much as they should. First impressions are quickly made in the first three to five minutes. Review the appearance checklist.

3. Lack of research. It's obvious when candidates haven't learned about the job, company or industry prior to the interview. Visit the library or use the internet to research the company, then talk with friends, peers and other professionals about the opportunity before each meeting.

4. Not having questions to ask. Asking questions shows your interest in the company and the position. Prepare a list of intelligent questions in advance.

5. Not readily knowing the answers to interviewer's questions. Anticipate and rehearse answers to tough questions about your background, such as a recent termination or an employment gap. Practicing with your spouse or a friend before the interview will help you to frame intelligent responses.

6. Relying too much on résumés. Employers hire people, not paper. Although a résumé can list qualifications and skills, it's the interview dialogue that will portray you as a committed, responsive team player.

7. Too much humility. Being conditioned not to brag, candidates are sometime reluctant to describe their accomplishments. Explaining how you reach difficult or impressive goals helps employers understand what you can do for them.

8. Not relating skills to the employer's needs. A list of startling accomplishments mean little if you can't relate them to a company's requirements. Reiterate your skills, convince the employers and make them understand what you can do for them.

9. Handling salary issues ineptly. Candidates often ask about salary and benefits too early. If they believe an employer is interested, they may demand inappropriate amounts and price themselves out of the jobs. Candidates who ask for too little undervalue themselves or appear desperate.

10. Lack of career direction. Job hunters who aren't clear about their career goals can't spot or commit to appropriate opportunities. Not knowing what you want wastes everyone's time.

11. Job shopping. Some applicants, particularly those in certain high-tech, sales and marketing fields, will admit they're just "shopping" for opportunities and have little intention of changing jobs. This wastes time and leaves a bad impression with employers they may need to contact in the future.

© Copyright 1998 AgentHR, Inc. All Rights Reserved.